Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Vanishing Europeans

I feel like I'm missing something in this article, like a detailed explanation of what exactly changed in the genetic markers to signify to scientists the extinction of entire continents worth of people or perhaps or maybe a less than sensational title? Not sure.

But according to Live Science and Yahoo it seems that the hunter gathers who dwelt in Europe about 7500 years ago disappeared from the landscape about 4500 years ago. The Genetic markers were "suddenly replaced" according to the DNA expert. I'm not sure how to define sudden, but using the 39 samples of bones they had that ranged from 7500 years ago to 4500 years ago I don't think anyone should jump to any sudden conclusions.

It goes on to say that people sweeping out of Turkey as part of a the agricultural revolution that ended the Mesolithic Era changed the face of Europe . . . of that I do not doubt, but did the locals adapt to new forms of living (agri from hunting), or did people physically move from Anatolia to Europe pushing out or absorbing the locals.

Does changing ones diet affect the DNA markers in your body? I know that is a hot topic of debate...is the DNA set in stone or does it alter (I can't imagine it NOT altering to be honest).

So could we postulate that the new form of living, from hunter/gather to hunter/agricultural spreading out of Turkey had a significant enough impact on the way locals communities lived and ate and thus over several thousand years altered the DNA markers in the indigenous population?

Seems more likely than a continent's worth of people vanishing. Even our species' most determined efforts at genocide have failed to wipe out even regional populations, seems odd that it happened before, even accounting for the sparsity of population.

Need I remind yahoo of these guys?


post script: Anyone with a knowledge of genetics if you can help my tired brain on this, the comments would be appreciated.

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